What does forceps mean?

Definitions for forceps
ˈfɔr səps, -sɛps; -səˌpizfor·ceps

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word forceps.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. forcepsnoun

    an extractor consisting of a pair of pincers used in medical treatment (especially for the delivery of babies)


  1. forcepsnoun

    An instrument used in surgery or medical procedures for grasping and holding objects, similar to tongs or pincers.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Forcepsnoun

    a pair of pinchers, or tongs; an instrument for grasping, holding firmly, or exerting traction upon, bodies which it would be inconvenient or impracticable to seize with the fingers, especially one for delicate operations, as those of watchmakers, surgeons, accoucheurs, dentists, etc

    Etymology: [L. forceps, -cipis, from the root of formus Hot + capere to take; akin to E. heave. Cf. Furnace.]

  2. Forcepsnoun

    the caudal forceps-shaped appendage of earwigs and some other insects. See Earwig

    Etymology: [L. forceps, -cipis, from the root of formus Hot + capere to take; akin to E. heave. Cf. Furnace.]


  1. Forceps

    Forceps or forcipes are a handheld, hinged instrument used for grasping and holding objects. Forceps are used when fingers are too large to grasp small objects or when many objects need to be held at one time while the hands are used to perform a task. The term 'forceps' is used almost exclusively within the medical field. Outside medicine, people usually refer to forceps as tweezers, tongs, pliers, clips or clamps. 'Forceps' can be used as both the singular and plural form of the word. Also, it is not referred to as a "pair" as one refers to a "pair of scissors". Etymologically, the word derives from the Latin forca, meaning a snare or trap. Mechanically, forceps employ the principle of the lever to grasp and apply pressure. Surgical forceps are commonly made of high-grade carbon steel, which ensures they can withstand repeated sterilization in high-temperature autoclaves. Lower quality steel is used in forceps made for other uses. Some forceps, intended to be used once and then discarded, are made of plastic. The invention of surgical forceps is attributed to Stephen Hales There are two basic types of forceps: non-locking and locking, though these two types come in dozens of specialized forms for various uses. Non-locking forceps also come in two basic forms, hinged at one end, away from the grasping end and hinged in the middle, rather like scissors. Locking forceps are almost always hinged in the middle, though some forms place the hinge very close to the grasping end. Locking forceps use various means to lock the grasping surfaces in a closed position to facilitate manipulation or to independently clamp, grasp or hold an object.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Forceps

    for′seps, n. a pair of tongs, pincers, or pliers for holding anything difficult to be held with the hand.—adj. For′cipāted, formed and opening like a forceps.—n. Forcipā′tion, torture by pinching with forceps. [L., from formus, hot, and capĕre, to hold.]


  1. Forceps

    hook or pincer-like processes terminating the abdomen, like specialized appendages of ear-wigs: similar processes in the male, used as clasping organs in copulation.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce forceps?

How to say forceps in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of forceps in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of forceps in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of forceps in a Sentence

  1. Deborah Nucatola:

    I ’d say a lot of people want liver, and for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they ’ll know where they’re putting their forceps.

  2. H. G. Wells, 1903:

    The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.

Images & Illustrations of forceps

  1. forcepsforcepsforcepsforcepsforceps

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for forceps

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for forceps »


Find a translation for the forceps definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these forceps definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "forceps." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 18 Jan. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/forceps>.

    Are we missing a good definition for forceps? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    be hungry; go without food
    • A. summon
    • B. emanate
    • C. famish
    • D. elaborate

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for forceps: